The generous people of South Mississippi have done it again. Thanks to your immense generosity, Thursday's Red Cross for Mississippi Telethon raised $131,946.95.
The telethon started with our first newscast beginning at 4:30am, and ended after our 6pm news. In addition, three South Mississippi radio stations - WOSM, 107.1 The Monkey, and Bob 105.9 - brought the telethon to their listeners.
"People along the Gulf Coast want to pay it forward after the assistance they received following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina," said WLOX General Manager Dave Vincent. "This is a way to touch our fellow Mississippians north of here who are suffering from violent tornadoes and rising flood waters."
State Director of Public Affairs for the American Red Cross of Mississippi Paige Roberts said, "All of our resources are stretched because of the volume and depth of disasters all across the country this spring. We are honored to serve our communities and humbled by the generosity of our neighbors."
Roberts came back to the coast just for the telethon. She has been in Smithville, Mississippi since just hours after that horrific night, when that town was wiped off the map.
"It is complete devastation in the town of Smithville, you stand in on Highway 25, which is their main street. And as far as the eye can see, it is obliterated," she said.
Roberts said it was amazing how so many people across Mississippi have stepped up to help.
"We thank every Mississippian that is able to reach in their pockets. Like a man this morning who just pulled out his last $40 and handed us what his children had saved in a little Cool Whip container."
The money raised during the telethon will go a long way toward helping the Red Cross do the vital work it does every time a disaster strikes.
A big thank you to all the generous people who make up this great place that we call home.